Radio host cops spray from ATO scammer

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AN ABC radio presenter has copped a foul-mouthed spray from a scammer claiming to be from the Australian Taxation

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Nick Rheinberger

AN ABC radio presenter has copped a foul-mouthed spray from a scammer claiming to be from the Australian Taxation Office.

Nick Rheinberger from 97.3 ABC Illawarra received a voicemail from a heavily accented man claiming to be “Michael Anderson” from

the ATO earlier this week

.

“The reason for this call is to inform you that we have received a legal complaint under your name, and the complaint is for tax avoidance,” the message said.

“Before we go ahead and take it to the local district court and issue a warrant, kindly call us back. Do not disregard this message and return the call as soon as possible.”

Dialling the number back, informed the man he was recording the phone call. “F*** you, and the recording, and put this recording to your ass as well mother f***er,” the man said. “Okay? So go and get f***ed, go and f*** your mum.” 

Rheinberger replied sarcastically: “Right, OK, that’s what I’d expect from the Australian Taxation Office.”

According to the ATO, Australians have already lost $1.5 million to

phone scams this year

, despite repeated warnings from consumer affairs bodies.

Mark Chapman, director of tax communications at H&R Block, said earlier this year phone scams had become increasingly popular. “People fall for them simply because the approach the scammers take is so aggressive,” he said.

“The caller effectively says the client has an outstanding debt and needs to pay it immediately on pain of imprisonment. People feel bullied into paying. Typically people who are called don’t have any kind of tax debt at all, and of course the ATO themselves never adopt that approach.”

Mr Chapman said phone scams appeared to target victims randomly through cold-calling. “I’ve called a few of these numbers back in my time, they appear to be quite sophisticated operations with a substantial number of people involved,” he said.

“The number comes through from what appears to be an Australian landline, but in reality it’s from a call centre outside Australia. It appears they’re possibly somewhere in India, although no doubt there’s more than one outfit doing this.”

frank.chung@news.com.au

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    Article Radio host cops spray from ATO scammer compiled by www.news.com.au